1. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Word Count Question

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by aikoaiko, Dec 7, 2013.

    This is a stupid question, I'm sure, but what is the best way to do a word count for something you would like to submit for publication? Would you count the number of words on a page and multiply it somehow to arrive at a general estimate, or is there some more efficient way to do it with a computer program, etc?

    Again, sorry if this sounds amateurish. But I've never had to do it.
     
  2. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    Almost all word-processing software includes a word-count function. It really isn't necessary, these days, to estimate the word-count of sample of pages and multiply. (In order to submit for publication, you'll probably need it to be word-processed, anyway?)
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, what lex said. Your word processor should have a word count feature. Which word processor are you using?
     
  4. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Some word processor programs require keystrokes or a function key to show word count. My first novel attempt was written in a program called Multimate Advantage, and you had to press an F-key to get word count. I never did until I discovered that word count was an issue (back in the 1990s). So, I hit the appropriate F-key and found that my "moderately long" (in my own mind) novel was actually over 400,000 words. Ouch!

    Microsoft WORD shows word count in the lower left corner, unless you specifically set it not to show it. I sometimes do this if I think I'm obsessing on word count.
     
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  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    If the file's not on Word or Scrivener I cut and past it to Word, look at the count, then delete it without saving it.
     
  6. L.T.
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    L.T. Member

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    What program are you currently using for your story?
     
  7. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    I use Open Office. It has, in tools, word count. If I highlight the questioned text it gives that section's count and the whole document.
     
  8. L.T.
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    L.T. Member

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    With Microsoft Word 2010, you only have to look at the bottom left hand corner of the window and it provides the word count just after the page count.
     
  9. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    But not the section. For what we are doing here, the count of the whole document might apply to publishing recommendations, but if we want to give the potential critic an idea of what they're getting into right in the title, we need a count of a particular chapter or excerpt.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you want to know the word count of a particular section, cut and paste it into a new document. Voila! You get the word count of that section.
     
  11. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    In what software does one need to do that?
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Not a math person, then? Land your cursor just before the first word, note the place count, land it after the last word and subtract to get the count.

    Of course I'm waiting for @DrWhozit to tell us how you get a count of a highlighted section and ask me if I'm not a computer person then. :p
     
  13. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    @GingerCoffee

    You mentioned a different situation, as in non-Word or non-Scrivener. I haven't used Word or WP for quite some time, so I guess you'll just have to wait for it till that fine day I open Word again... :p (right backatcha...:D)
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :confused:

    I'm pretty sure @chicagoliz was talking about Word.
     
  15. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    No argument about that. I just figured one good stuck out tongue deserves another...
     
  16. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    The question about word counts of a section had referenced Word, so yes, I was talking about Word. And @GingerCoffee yeah, you could do math, but I find this even easier ;-)
     
  17. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My experience with Word is that you just highlight the section you want to know the word count of and then look in the lower left corner. It should say something like "300/1200" (selection/document).
    The same goes for LibreOffice (and probably OpenOffice), though it says "Words: 1200, Selection: 300".

    To the OP: A good way to see if you can view word count in your word processor is to simply Google for the program's name followed by "word count" (eg. "Word 2010 word count").
     
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  18. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Oh gosh, can you believe I've been using Word forever and never even noticed the word count at the bottom? Sheesh!! Well, sorry again for such a silly question, but thank you for all the answers!!:):)
     
  19. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    O
    Sure. Most users never reach the full potential of most software. Games may be an exception, but productivity software is usually created to satisfy the power user as well as the average one.
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :D Hadn't noticed that but I see it works.
     
  21. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    Nope.
     
  22. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    We all learn something new every day. :)

    Strange. If I remember correctly both OO and LO are quite similar, but then it has been quite some time since I switched to Libre.
     
  23. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    Truth is stranger than friction. Unless they changed it in an update, you have to go to the tools menu for a word count.
     
  24. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Another possibly stupid question: Does the page count on Open Office or Microsoft Word roughly correspond to the page count in most conventionally published books----or is that a moot point when the first consideration is word count?
     
  25. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It is a moot point. Only word count matters.
     

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